Moderate individuals: beginnings, 1900–27
in A history of British sports medicine
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This chapter begins with an argument that both philosophical and physiological theories constrained and informed the construction of British sports medicine. These ideas were part of the shared values and liberal education of a generation of middle-class men who, as doctors or amateur athletes, contributed to an understanding of the athletic body in the early twentieth century. Individualism, like moderation, allowed for an extremely flexible mainstream of exercise science and sporting advice. The use of exercise as a curative therapy is bound up with the histories of massage, physiotherapy, passive movement, medical gymnastics and all allied treatments such as hydrotherapy or electrotherapy. Movement and modernity were intimately related. Massage appeared at the most elite levels of sporting activity; at the first modern Olympic Games the American high jumpers appear to have sought the services of a masseur in the middle of their contest.

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